What is Reflexology?
Reflexology refers to a methods of treatment whereby massage, used in a particular way on reflex points, can cause effects in areas quite distant to the feet. It can also be used on the hands. The feet are a mirror image of the body, and if a particular area is tender or painful, then it is possible to work on the foot to stimulate a resonse in the corresponding body area. This can be useful if the part of the body is too sore to touch, or with patients who have terminal disease and could be in great pain, much comfort and relief can be gained by addressing the foot reflex area. This will stimulate the nerve endings in the foot and initiate the healing process. It will also help the body to de-toxify and eliminate any over production of uric acid and calcium which could be stored in the feet. Reflexology should not be used to diagnose problems, but the therapist can build up a clear picture of the clients general health and may suggest ideas to help with certain issues.
History of Reflexology
The origins of reflexology date back at least 5000 years when the Chinese were known to have practised a form of pressure therapy with a basis similar to that of acupuncture. The ancient Egyptians were also depicted in tomb drawings massaging the feet. The earliest book written on “Zone Therapy” , as it was first known, was published in 1582. Dr William H Fitzgerald commenced research into zone therapy in 1913 and was intruiged by the fact that he could apply pressure to certain parts of the hands which would inhibit pain. He used this whilst operating on patients and discovered that the body could be divided into 10 longitudal zones from the toes to the brain. Another pioneer of Reflexology was Eunice Ingham whose books became standard textbooks for students. She taught Doreen Bayly whose teachings are still continued today through the Bayly School of Reflexology.
What will happen in a Reflexology Treatment?
You will have a consultation with the practitioner to check that there are not contra-indications to the treatment. You will be asked about your general health and any health issues you may have had in the past, your lifestyle, and your diet. You will then be invited to either lay or sit on the therapy couch, whichever is most comfortable for you. The practitioner will then massage your lower legs and feet to relax them and prepare them for working, and then proceed to cover the whole of the foot, top and bottom, with a massage technique called thumb or finger walking. This gives them constant contact with the foot and enables them to note any changes in texture , contour, or tender painful areas. You may feel relaxed and even sleepy whilst you are having the treatment, which should last for about 1 hour.
What can Reflexology treat?
Reflexology has been used to treat a number of different conditions. As with other holistic therapies, it is used to treat the whole body , therefore the client is being treated and not their symptoms. It has shown to be effective for the following problems; headaches, hormonal problems, musculo-skeletal problems, digestive disorders, parkinsons disease, plus many others.